Tag Archives: freeport-mcmoran

87665813

Freeport-McMoRan grant empowers women

Experience Matters, an organization that is creating a stronger, more vibrant community by connecting the skill and passion of experienced adults with nonprofits that need their help, announced today it has received a grant of $60,000 from Freeport-McMoRan.

The grant, which will be matched by local resources for a total value of $120,000, will be devoted exclusively to increasing the capacity of social service agencies to improve opportunities for women to increase their skills and economic independence and to assist domestic violence agencies in helping women explore their potential and achieve lives free of violence.

Experience Matters’ proven business model matches human capital – skilled, seasoned adults – with nonprofit social service agencies committed to tackling significant community issues and creating lasting change. Since it was established five years ago, Experience Matters has provided dozens of Arizona nonprofits with expertise in human resources, finance, technology, business planning, business operations and much more.

“This generous grant from Freeport-McMoRan aligns perfectly with one of its social goals and ours,” said Experience Matters CEO Nora Hannah. “Our mutual goal for this project is to increase the prosperity of women, in a way that is effective and sustainable over the long term.”

Four nonprofit programs already serving women will be selected as partners. Each will be provided with an Experience Matters Encore Fellow for one year, beginning in November. Encore Fellows typically earn a stipend of about $20,000, providing a high value-to-cost ratio for nonprofit hosts.[1] To ensure project success, Experience Matters consults with each organization to understand its needs, create a project statement of work, source the right talent, provide training and manage the match relationship. Both skilled talent and member organizations receive ongoing support throughout the year.

“The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation has made significant investments in organizations and projects that protect and empower women by addressing domestic violence, economic self-sufficiency, personal development, and education and training,” said Tracy Bame, President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. “Experience Matters presents a unique opportunity to increase the benefits of those investments by working with organizations that serve women to match them with an Encore Fellow who has the right experience to help them further achieve goals and outcomes with lasting impact.”

The C3 office building, in Los Angeles, was re-imagined by Gensler to include more "front doors" for suites, which are depicted by the colorful stairways on the building's exterior.

Office Mate: The creative endgame for functional obsolescence

Forget the corner office. These days, it’s about the coffee shop around the corner, the food trucks outside the lobby, the light rail that passes an office building every 15 minutes.

The work place is all about the worker. Employee and entrepreneur are synonymous. Human resource departments are working in concert with building owners, managers, developers and brokers.

Employee demographics are spanning radically different generations with equally varied needs for a work-life balance. These are all observations shared by industry experts, from international architecture, design and planning firm Gensler, to brokerage houses and developers in the Phoenix Metro.

About a decade ago, traditional offices began to open up for collaborative space. Since then, office environments have contracted around the remote worker and many other trends that ultimately call for very specific, versatile influenced by a company’s DNA. A demand for trendy, compact work environments that encourage collaboration, focus, creativity and accommodates mobility has led to many new speculative and build-to-suit office developments tailored to an end-user’s needs. This is all while vacancy rates in the market hover around 25 percent.

However, many experts say this statistic is misleading. It’s weighed down by the many office buildings constructed in the ’80s or earlier that are structurally — and aesthetically — outdated.

Courtesy of Cassidy Turley

Courtesy of Cassidy Turley

THE OBSOLETE
As Cassidy Turley’s head of research, Zach Aulick, puts it: “functional obsolescence” are the buzzwords of 2014.

Aulick cites Rockefeller Group Vice President and Regional Director Mark Singerman’s assessment at a Bisnow event that vacancy rates in the market were much lower, by about 5 to 7 percent, without including obsolete buildings. Aulick, prompted by such buzzings and the news that speculative and build-to-suit development was happening despite vacancy rates higher than 20 percent, looked into the functional obsolescence among office properties in the Phoenix Metro and found that Singerman was right.

Net absorption of office buildings constructed after 1990, Aulick reports, accounted for 4.4MSF in 1Q 2014. In that same period of time, buildings completed prior to 1990 were reportedly declining in about 320KSF and 200KSF in 1Q and 2Q, respectively. The major contributors or obsolete space is parking ratios and floor plate size.

Midtown, Aulick says, is perhaps one of the hardest hit areas with 10MSF of office and an average age falling pre-‘90s. That area’s options are limited by available space. It takes entrepreneurship, says Cassidy Turley’s Vice President of Marketing Alison Melnychenko, to recognize the highest and best use for the land on which an obsolete building sits.

GETTING IN THE GAME
If an owner isn’t going to sit back on 80 percent occupancy, there are a few options that could raise the appeal of an outdated building. The first move is to retrofit a space — tear out floors or half floors to make higher ceilings. That can be costly and reduces overall volume. The other option is to add to the building’s function. For instance, the Freeport McMoran Center in downtown Phoenix had high user demand for parking. It was turned into a Westin hotel. Buildings along Central Avenue have been converted into apartments and condos — a trend CBRE Senior Vice President of Office Services Bryan Taute says will likely continue.

Retail and industrial buildings are sometimes flipped into office spaces, given the parking issue can be solved. This is more popular in areas such as Midtown or near the airport.
“I think Midtown has the potential to figure a way out of (obsolescence),” says Taute. “If building owners are willing to sell them to new owners with capital to give creative funky ideas. I’m a big believer in mass transit and infill.”

The general idea among people is that Phoenix won’t pay for that kind of re-activated space. But there is more enthusiasm than meets the eye, says Gensler Principal Beth Harmon-Vaughan. Brokers, developers, business owners, she says, see the potential and there are a handful of undisclosed projects in the pipeline on which Gensler is already working.

This call center space features a blue webbing on the beiling as a navigational tool that unites a uniuqe 75KSF floorplate.

This call center space features a blue webbing on the beiling as a navigational tool that unites a uniuqe 75KSF floorplate.

On a local level, a call center space built in an old Motorola manufacturing facility was designed by Gensler to “control the churn” of the company’s employees who go through 12 weeks of extensive training. The existing building’s unique floor plate led Gensler to use a blue webbing on the ceiling as a navigational tool that brings the 75KSF area together.

The call center is proof that these trendy spaces aren’t just for software and video gaming companies either. Real estate offices such as CBRE in Los Angeles have adopted these new space use trends, and Gensler says more professional and traditionally staunch companies such as law firms are coming onboard.

CBRE’s office in L.A., co-developed with Gensler, has a “free-address” system of office space use, often called “hot desking,” which can be reserved for individual use during certain times.

Despite the increase in remote work, companies still want employees to come to the office. Whether its the highly crafted informality of a Quicksilver office’s mix-matched meeting chairs in a windowless warehouse or the raw floors, pet amenities and employee-generated wall art at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus, the younger generation is revolutionizing office space.

Other trends include authenticity – designing the DNA of a company into its office spaces – and having a “front door” instead of anonymous-feeling lobbies. Gensler’s design of Los Angeles’ C3, for example, achieves a “front door” feel through colorful exterior stairwells to upper-story suites.

Phoenix may not be on that level, but change is coming — even to the ’80s-heavy areas of Midtown.

Mod turned a re-purposed Midtown lobby constructed in 1985 into a co-op office space that helps keep the building's outdated features from making it obsolete.

Mod turned a re-purposed Midtown lobby constructed in 1985 into a co-op office space that helps keep the building’s outdated features from making it obsolete.

It just takes a drive down Central Avenue to see the buildings in need of change. The Class-B high-rise at 2828 N. Central Avenue was built in 1985 and offers the typical functionally obsolete issues, parking ratios and small floor plates, explains Aulick. However, it was a building that — with a little renovation — could be turned into the headquarters for the co-op workspace known as “mod on Central.” It’s stylized as a hotel, features a cafe and is a public workspace for remote employees that, as Lynita Johnson, of Olson Communications says, are looking for somewhere that’s “never boring or beige.”

“It’s the way you want to work, because it’s the way you like to live,” she says of the development. Finance and law firms are among the next wave of industries adopting the new kind of office space. Old, dated, standard offices such as Rose Law Group’s former eight-year residence has transitioned into a high-tech, smart, fun, sleek and creative space in Old Town Scottsdale, near a cultural hub of restaurants.

Rose Law Group’s employees skew “young and energetic,” says Jordan Rose, founder of Rose Law Group. “We are 85 percent below the age of 40.” “If we weren’t locked into our old lease we would have been the first to the open floor plan party at least six years ago,” says Rose. “We knew as soon as we moved into the old space that we needed a more collaborative atmosphere that would only be achieved through design.

That said, traditionally law firms are not known as hot beds of creative thought and collaboration. We have a bit of a different model in that we employ lawyers and non-lawyer planners, MBAs, project managers and energy consultants who can help shape the ultimate advice we provide our clients. Sometimes legal advice in a box is just really bad for a client’s bottom line.”
Non-traditional changes include minimizing the firm’s waiting room area, meant to remind the team that clients shouldn’t wait long to see their attorney.

Conference rooms and open space areas are named after employees and balconies that can be used to host meetings. Offices are centered around a park space where people can eat lunch. There are also a few old, full-sized arcade games.

ELBOW ROOM
As space allotted per employee continues to drop to about 167 SF per person — down nearly 100 SF in the last few years, with CoreNet Global estimating a further drop to 151 SF by 2017 — developers are tasked with finding ways to make the workplace more enjoyable. Right now, that looks like raising the roof (or, rather, knocking out floors in high-rises). Floor-to-floor heights in buildings constructed in previous decades have been about 13.5 feet. Now, says Sven Tustin, vice president of development and investment for Trammell Crow, they’re about 15 to 16 feet floor-to-floor.

While eight-foot ceilings won’t make an office building obsolete, Taute says a space will be more challenging to sell and demand a lower rental rate than an office with higher ceilings. Buildings with lower parking ratios typically see leasing 80 percent of its space as success.

Tustin has seen some significant repurposing happen in southern California, most recently at Playa Vista, a former Howard Hughes hangar that received a $50M makeover that includes an office campus for media, entertainment and tech firms.

“There’s an authentic experience to be had,” says Tustin. “In Phoenix, it’s a little more challenging. Our office employment is a little less creatively geared and more focused on labor.”
Midtown is the only submarket that has experienced negative absorption over the last decade, thanks to the light rail, amenities and the right neighborhood.

“The trick,” says Tustin, “is buying those buildings cheap enough. “We’ve explored a lot of new developments for infill. We’ve been promoting this initiative quite a bit and one thing we’ve been concerned with is our flight of the younger demographics who view places as more fun.”

Trammell Crow has challenged itself to create a project that could be just as fun, though not as extreme, as Playa Vista. Also, Phoenix doesn’t boast a lot of old warehouses, notes Taute.

Trammell Crow is working on a 200KSF project at Cooper Road and Loop 202 that’s a two-story tilt-up office building with 50KSF floor plates and 16-foot, floor-to-floor heights. The building, he says, targets software and financial service companies. Trammell Crow is focused on creating “the arrival experience” with escape areas, shade structures and “the small things.”

“Developers have probably emphasized aesthetics more than the experience of a building,” says Tustin. “I think it’s worth reallocating the investment toward the employee.” zThis is where Millennials come in.

“From my perspective, it’s a lot more fun because in Phoenix it has always been about price and the things that create it as a commodity,” says Taute. “Now, the office space is being looked at as an attraction tool, which means people are willing to spend more money. If they can get the rents, to make cool office space…All of those things are good for our city. The longevity is better than cookie cutter office buildings.”

mining

Freeport-McMoRan sells stake in Chilean mine for $1.8B

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. is selling 80 percent of its stake in a copper and gold mine in Chile for at least $1.8 billion.

The mining company announced the sale agreement Monday for the Candelaria-Ojos del Salado mine with Lundin Mining Corp. of Canada. In addition to $1.8 billion in cash, Freeport-McMoRan also said it will receive 5 percent of copper revenues in any year over the next five years if the average price exceeds $4 a pound. It’s currently trading at just over $3 a pound. That could total as much as $200 million, the company said.

The sale, with an effective date of June 30, 2014, is expected to be completed by year’s end subject to approval by regulators.

Freeport-McMoRan said it expects to earn about $1.5 billion after taxes from the sale, excluding the additional fees.

Company executives said the deal is a step in its ongoing efforts to reduce debt, following the $3.1 billion sale of its Eagle Ford shale assets in Texas in June.

Lundin said the remaining 20 percent of the mine will continue to be held by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and Sumitomo Corp.

78430714

Freeport-McMoRan Completes Acquisition in Gulf of Mexico

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) announced that its oil and gas subsidiary, Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas (FM O&G), has completed the previously announced acquisition of certain part of Apache Corporation’s (Apache) (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) interests in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

Following the exercise of preferential purchase rights by other working interest owners in the Lucius project, FM O&G acquired for $919 million, 51.2% of Apache’s 11.7% working interest in the Lucius oil development project, 100% of Apache’s 12.5% working interest in the Heidelberg oil development project and several exploration leases. Following closing and the interim redetermination of equity ownership by the co-owners in the Lucius field, FM O&G owns an approximate 25.1% working interest in Lucius.

The Deepwater GOM acquisition was funded with proceeds from the previously reported sale of FM O&G’s Eagle Ford Shale assets, which closed on June 20, 2014. The estimated combined after-tax net proceeds from these transactions approximate $1.8 billion. On June 23, 2014, FCX announced that it will redeem in July 2014 approximately $1.7 billion aggregate face amount of senior notes with an average annual interest rate of approximately 6.6%.

FCX is a premier U.S.-based natural resources company with an industry-leading global portfolio of mineral assets, significant oil and gas resources and a growing production profile. FCX is the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer.

FCX’s portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits; significant mining operations in the Americas, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in North America and the Cerro Verde operation in South America; the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and significant oil and natural gas assets in North America, including reserves in the Deepwater GOM, onshore and offshore California and in the Haynesville natural gas shale play, and an industry-leading position in the emerging shallow water Inboard Lower Tertiary/Cretaceous natural gas trend on the Shelf of the GOM and onshore in South Louisiana.

san-antonio-texas-eagle-ford-oil-shale-top

Freeport-McMoRan Completes $3.1B Sale

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. announced today that its oil and gas subsidiary, Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas (FM O&G), has completed its previously announced sale of its Eagle Ford Shale assets to a subsidiary of Encana Corporation for cash consideration of $3.1 billion, before closing adjustments from the effective date of April 1, 2014, through the closing date. The Eagle Ford assets include all of FM O&G’s interests on approximately 45,500 net acres with estimated net proved reserves totaling 59 million barrels of oil equivalents (BOE) and estimated net proved and probable reserves of 69 million BOE at year-end 2013.

The company expects to complete the acquisition of interests in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico from Apache on June 30, 2014.

FCX is a premier U.S.-based natural resources company with an industry-leading global portfolio of mineral assets, significant oil and gas resources and a growing production profile. FCX is the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer.

FCX’s portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits; significant mining operations in the Americas, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in North America and the Cerro Verde operation in South America; the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and significant oil and natural gas assets in North America, including reserves in the Deepwater GOM, onshore and offshore California and in the Haynesville shale play, and an industry-leading position in the emerging shallow water Inboard Lower Tertiary/Cretaceous natural gas trend on the Shelf of the GOM and onshore in South Louisiana.

Portales I Exterior 2, WEB

BOMA Greater Phoenix TOBY Awards 2013

This year’s BOMA Greater Phoenix TOBY Awards were presented Nov. 15 at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown.

AZRE Magazine would like to congratulate the seven winners of this year’s BOMA Greater Phoenix TOBY Awards.

Portales Corporate Center II

Portales Corporate Center II

100,000- 249,999 SF Category: Portales Corporate Center II
4800 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Owned by: Principal Real Estate Investors
Architect: DFD Conoyer Hedrick
Managed by: Julie Schulze, Property Manager and Leasing Consultant, Forum Property Services, LLC

Portales Corporate Center I

Portales Corporate Center I

250,000-499,999 SF Category: Portales Corporate Center I
4800 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Owned by: Principal Real Estate Investors
Architect: DFD Conoyer Hedrick
Managed by: Julie Schulze, Property Manager and Leasing Consultant, Forum Property Services, LLC

 

Freeport-McMoRan Building

Freeport-McMoRan Building

Corporate Facility Category: Freeport-McMoRan Building
333 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Owned by:  National Electrical Benefit Fund
Architect: Smith Group
Managed by: Mary Anne Lanoue, General Manager, Transwestern

Arizona Game and Fish Department Headquarters

Arizona Game and Fish Department Headquarters

Government Building Category: Arizona Game and Fish Department Headquarters
500 W. Carefree Hwy., Phoenix
Owned by: Arizona Wildlife Finance Corporation
Architect: Will Architects
Managed by: Lauren Grant, Lincoln Property Company

McCauley Medical Office Building

McCauley Medical Office Building

Medical Office Building Category: McAuley Medical Office
500 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix
Owned by: LaSalle Investment Manager
Architect: BLM Group
Managed by: Mercedes Marquez, Real Estate Manager, CBRE

Park One

Park One

Renovated Category: Park One
2111 E. Highland Ave., Ste. 100, Phoenix
Owned by: MS MCC Park One, LLC
Architect: Phoenix Design One
Managed by: Lorraine MacGregor, Property Manager, McCarthy Cook & Co.

San Tan Corporate Center

San Tan Corporate Center

Suburban Office Park Low Rise Category: San Tan Corporate Center I & II
3100 and 3200 W. Ray Rd., Ste. 135, Chandler
Owned by: Wells REIT II-SanTan Corporate Center, LLC
Architect: DFD Architectural
Managed by: Maricela Nunez, Real Estate Manager, CBRE

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DIGNITY receives $50K from Freeport-McMoRan

Catholic Charities Community Services received a $50,000 Women’s Development Grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation. The funds will be used to help women in Catholic Charities’ DIGNITY program for prostitution recovery.

“We are so grateful for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation’s support,” said Erica Reed, DIGNITY program director at Catholic Charities. “There tends to be little sympathy for these women because people assume the women choose to be prostituted. People do not realize that most prostituted individuals come from abusive homes and were lured into ‘the life’ as young as 13. They have had no real home, life-skills or work history. This grant will help our women to reestablish a life for themselves—a life with dignity.”

DIGNITY is an acronym for Developing Individual Growth and New Independence Through Yourself. Catholic Charities reaches out to prostituted individuals, including girls, in the streets and in the jails. They also offer a year-long residential recovery program to help women build their self-esteem and their life-skills so they may transition to an independent life free from abuse and prostitution.

The Women’s Development Grant from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation will be used to help the DIGNITY women to complete job readiness and life-skill training, including financial literacy.

“When women build stable lives, succeed and increase their income, they are more likely to invest in the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of their children, their families and their communities,” said Tracy Bame, president of the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation..

Banner MD Anderson Lantern Of Hope

$2M Grant from Piper Supports Fight Against Cancer

With a generous $2 million grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Cancer Has Met Its Match campaign benefitting Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center is near its $20 million goal. The grant from Piper Trust, in support of the campaign, provides funding for capital, programs and services that will impact patients, their families and the community.

Launched in January 2011, the Cancer Has Met Its Match campaign has attracted support from more than 1,000 individual, corporate and foundation donors that share an interest in fighting cancer. The campaign has been on a path to success since its inception thanks to the involvement of dozens of dedicated community and business leaders who comprise the campaign cabinet.

In particular, Richard Adkerson, president and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, has been invaluable as the chair of the campaign, while Arizona Cardinals’ star receiver Larry Fitzgerald has taken an active role as honorary chair. Additional outstanding leadership has been provided by co-chairs Steve Rizley, senior vice president of Cox Communication and Kari Yatkowski, founder of Corporate Citizen.

Located in Gilbert, Ariz., the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, part of the Phoenix-based nonprofit Banner Health system, relies on philanthropic support to fund education and outreach activities, patient support programs, the latest technology and more. Another significant gift received in Fall 2012 from the James M. Cox Foundation will fund the creation of the Center for Cancer Prevention and Integrative Oncology, which will incorporate traditional cancer treatments with evidence-based integrative therapies, such as acupuncture, yoga or meditation, to aid pain and stress management.

The Cancer Has Met Its Match campaign seeks to raise the remaining $311,000 by June 30, 2013. A second fundraising effort will follow to secure support for additional capital and programmatic efforts associated with the ongoing expansion of Banner MD Anderson. Work is currently underway on a 130,000-square-foot expansion project at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center which will double the total clinic exam rooms to 60, add three linear accelerators used in radiation treatment and include 13 additional infusion bays. It will also expand the Laboratory Intake Center and Welcome Center, as well as the Cox Center for Integrative Oncology and Cancer Prevention.

Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Freeport-McMoRan’s profit rises 16%

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit rose 16 percent on a combination of rising sales and lower copper-production costs, and the mining company’s stock rose.

Net income was $743 million, 78 cents per share, compared with $640 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items such as a charge for environmental costs, the company said it would have earned 74 cents per share, beating the forecast of 71 cents per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue increased 8 percent to $4.51 billion. Analysts expected $4.50 billion, on average.

Copper sales rose 18 percent, gold sales jumped 91 percent, and molybdenum sales gained 11 percent, the company said.

Cost of producing one pound of copper dipped to $1.54 from $1.57 a year earlier, reflecting lower employees costs partially offset by higher mining costs.

In December, the company announced that it will buy Plains Exploration & Production Co. and McMoRan Exploration Co. for $20 billion in total, including the assumption of debt. The deals are expected to close in the second quarter.

For the full year, Freeport-McMoRan earned $3.04 billion, or $3.19 per share, compared with $4.56 billion, or $4.78 per share, in 2011.

Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Freeport-McMoRan's profit rises 16%

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit rose 16 percent on a combination of rising sales and lower copper-production costs, and the mining company’s stock rose.

Net income was $743 million, 78 cents per share, compared with $640 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items such as a charge for environmental costs, the company said it would have earned 74 cents per share, beating the forecast of 71 cents per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue increased 8 percent to $4.51 billion. Analysts expected $4.50 billion, on average.

Copper sales rose 18 percent, gold sales jumped 91 percent, and molybdenum sales gained 11 percent, the company said.

Cost of producing one pound of copper dipped to $1.54 from $1.57 a year earlier, reflecting lower employees costs partially offset by higher mining costs.

In December, the company announced that it will buy Plains Exploration & Production Co. and McMoRan Exploration Co. for $20 billion in total, including the assumption of debt. The deals are expected to close in the second quarter.

For the full year, Freeport-McMoRan earned $3.04 billion, or $3.19 per share, compared with $4.56 billion, or $4.78 per share, in 2011.

freeport

Freeport-McMoRan buys energy companies for $9B

Mining company Freeport-McMoRan is buying a pair of oil and gas producers for $9 billion, creating a natural resources conglomerate with assets ranging from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to mines in Indonesia.

Freeport, based in Phoenix, is paying $6.9 billion in cash and stock for Plains Exploration Co., and $2.1 billion for McMoRan Exploration Co. Freeport will also assume $11 billion in debt in the deal.

Plains Exploration, based in Houston, produces oil in California, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, along with natural gas in Louisiana. McMoRan Exploration, based in New Orleans, is developing natural gas resources that lie deep below shallow water regions of the Gulf of Mexico.

The recent track record of miners buying oil and gas companies has been mixed.

BHP Billiton, the Australian mining giant, wrote down the value of its U.S. natural gas assets by $2.8 billion in August. The company had paid $5 billion for much of those assets in 2011 when it bought reserves in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas from Chesapeake Energy.

Natural gas prices in the U.S. have been pushed sharply lower in recent years because drillers have learned to unlock enormous amounts of natural gas from shale formations under several states, dramatically boosting supplies.

BHP Billiton also acquired Petrohawk Energy in 2011 for $12 billion. Petrohawk focused on oil instead of gas, though, so BHP did not have to write down those assets.

U.S. oil production is at its highest level since 1998, according to the Energy Department, but global oil prices have remained relatively high.

Freeport shareholders generally owned the company for its exposure to copper and will not embrace the move, Anthony Rizzuto, an analyst at Dahlman Rose, wrote in a note to clients.

The company’s stock price fell $5.06, or 13 percent, to $33.22, in midday trading.

The Freeport deals, which must be approved by shareholders, are expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

Freeport McMoRan - American Indian Retention

Freeport McMoRan’s Gift To ASU Helps American Indian Retention Efforts

Attending college and earning a degree is a distant dream for many American Indians. A gift of $35,000 from Freeport McMoRan to Arizona State University will help ensure that more students attain their goals of earning a higher education degree by funding Native American retention efforts.

Arizona is a state that is rich in Indian tribal communities with 22 federally recognized tribes whose land makes up one quarter of the state’s land mass. ASU is working collaboratively with these federally recognized tribes to strengthen the education pipeline from Native communities to ASU.

“Freeport McMoRan’s generous gift will help ASU deliver meaningful support services to its ever-increasing American Indian student population who are enrolled members of these tribes. This gift will help these students make a successful transition into the rigors of the university curriculum and the later employment challenges that lie ahead. We are extremely grateful for Freeport McMoRan for its support,” said Diane Humetewa, Special Advisor to ASU President Michael Crow on American Indian Affairs.

ASU has one of the largest American Indian student populations in the nation. In the 2012 spring semester, approximately 1,400 American Indian students from the Navajo Nation, Tohono O’odham Nation, San Carlos Apache Indian Tribe, Hopi and other federally recognized tribes located within Arizona and other states throughout our nation enrolled at ASU. ASU ranks first in the nation for doctoral degrees awarded to American Indians.

ASU is working to ensure that students who come to the university complete their degrees. First-year retention rates among Native Americans average around 69 percent. Students cite a myriad of reasons why completing their studies is challenging, including finances and cultural differences.

“If you’re coming from a small tribal community into a large urban environment, you’re likely trying to figure out your day-to-day living situation and manage finances while at the same time trying to excel academically. It can, at times, be overwhelming. ASU can provide resources to get through that first semester,” Humetewa said.

ASU is spearheading creative initiatives to provide incoming students with a holistic approach to complete their degrees with programs designed to enhance social, cultural and academic integration. The gift from Freeport McMoRan will support these programs and initiatives to boost American Indian student success at ASU.

“This gift represents Freeport McMoRan’s commitment to the success of Native American students. The funds will provide multi-year support for programs that promote retention, success and graduation for enrolled members of federally recognized tribes. We are grateful to have Freeport McMoRan as a partner in educational excellence,” said Delia S. Saenz, Vice Provost for International & Institutional Inclusion.

Funds from the gift will be eligible to support programs and initiatives such as: an accredited course that will build writing, reading and response skills; undergraduate tutorial services; and college and career readiness activities that will ease the cultural transition to the university, especially for first-generation American Indian college students from reservation communities.

Other programs that are eligible for funds include an elective course to help students overcome cultural challenges often faced when applying studies to a work environment. The course emphasizes professional and leadership skills while exploring indigenous and non-indigenous perspectives on communication, research and professional and leadership skills.

In addition, the ASU Summer Bridge Program ensures that students make a successful transition to the university by emphasizing involvement, inclusion and identification with the ASU campus and community. Sixty American Indian students experience a four-day ASU residential orientation that includes: one-on-one meetings with academic advisors, faculty and staff; class registration and advisement; culturally specific workshops and presentations; leadership development; and academic and social integration.

A similar program, the Native American Summer Institute, has run for the past 12 years and has served over 750 students with great success. Current ASU data show that students who attend the institute are retained at much higher rates.

For more information on Freeport McMoRan and ASU, visit Freeport McMoRan’s website at www.fcx.com and visit ASU’s website asu.edu.

Manufacturing Companies

Arizona’s Largest Manufacturing Companies

Arizona’s 10 largest public and privately held manufacturing companies, ranked by the number of employees based on full-time equivalents of 40 hours per week and based on industry research.

ŒRaytheon Co.
Arizona employees in 2012: About 12,000
Employment change since 2011: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $25.2 billion
Principal: Taylor W. Lawrence, president
Company’s focus: Missile manufacturing
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Phone: (520) 694-7737
Website: raytheon.com

Intel Corp.
Arizona employees in 2012: About 11,000
Employment change since 2011: Added about 1,300 jobs
2010 revenue: $43.6 billion
Principal: Paul S. Otellini, president and CEO
Company’s focus: Semiconductor manufacturing
Year founded: 1968
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Phone: (480) 554-8080
Website: intel.com

ŽHoneywell International Inc.
Arizona employees in 2012: 10,100
Employment change since 2011: Added about 384 jobs
2010 revenue: $33.4 billion
Principal: Tim Mahoney, president and CEO, aerospace
Company’s focus: Aerospace manufacturing
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Morristown, N.J.
Phone: (602) 231-1000
Website: honeywell.com

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
Arizona employees in 2012: About 7,600
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $19 billion
Principal: Richard Adkerson, CEO
Company’s focus: Mining
Year founded: 1834
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 366-7323
Website: fcx.com

General Dynamics C4 Systems
Arizona employees in 2012: 5,402
Employment change since 2011: Added about 376 jobs
2010 revenue: $32.5 billion
Principal: Chris Marzilli, president
Company’s focus: Defense, communications
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Falls Church, Va.
Phone: (480) 441-3033
Website: generaldynamics.com

‘Boeing Co.
Arizona employees in 2012: 4,878
Employment change since 2011: Added about 78 jobs
2010 revenue: $64.3 billion
Principal: Harry Stonecither, CEO
Company’s focus: Aircraft manufacturing
Year founded: 1916
Headquarters: Chicago
Phone: (480) 891-3000
Website: boeing.com

’Freescale Semiconductor
Arizona employees in 2012: 3,000
Employment change since 2011: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.5 billion
Principal: Rich Beyer, chairman and CEO
Company’s focus: Microchip manufacturing
Year founded: 1953
Headquarters: Austin
Phone: (512) 895-2000
Website: freescale.com

“Shamrock Foods Co.
Arizona employees in 2012: 1,828
Employment change since 2010: Added about 47 jobs
2010 revenue: $1.650 billion
Principal: Norman McClelland, CEO
Company’s focus: Processor of dairy products
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 477-6400
Website: shamrockfoods.com

”Microchip Technology Inc.
Arizona employees in 2012: About 1,539
Employment change since 2011: Lost about 21 jobs
2010 revenue: $1.487 billion
Principal: Steve Sanghi, CEO
Company’s focus: Microcontroller, memory and analog semiconductors manufacturing
Year founded: 1987
Headquarters: Chandler
Phone: (480) 792-7200
Website: microchip.com

•Orbital Sciences Corp.
Arizona employees in 2012: 1,378
Employment change since 2011: Lost about 58 jobs
2010 revenue: $1.294 billion
Principal: Christopher Long, vice president and GM Gilbert operations
Company’s focus: Aerospace manufacturing
Year founded: 1963
Headquarters: Dulles, Va.
Phone: (480) 899-6000
Website: orbital.com

50 Largest Employers in Arizona - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

50 Largest Employers In Arizona

These are the 50 largest employers in Arizona, including public and privately held companies and not-for-profit corporations, ranked by the number of employees based on full-time equivalents of 40 hours per week and based on industry research.


50 Largest Employers in Arizona

Walmart Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 30,634
Employment change since 2010: Added about 300 jobs
2010 revenue: $421.8 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Bentonville, Ark.
Phone: (479) 273-4000
Website: www.walmart.com

Banner Health

Arizona employees in 2011: 28,353
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1911
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 747-4000
Website: www.bannerhealth.com

Wells Fargo & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 14,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $93.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1852
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 411-4932
Website: www.wellsfargo.com

Bank of America Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 13,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,000 jobs
2010 revenue: $150.5 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1904
Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
Phone: (800) 944-0404
Website: www.bankofamerica.com

McDonald’s Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 12,770
Employment change since 2010: Added about 955 jobs
2010 revenue: $22.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1955
Headquarters: Oakbrook, Ill.
Phone: (800) 244-6227
Website: www.mcdonalds.com

Apollo Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 460 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1973
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (480) 966-5394
Website: www.apollogrp.edu

Kroger Co. *

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 400 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.7 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1883
Headquarters: Cincinnati
Phone: (623) 936-2100
Website: www.frysfood.com
* Includes Fry’s Food Stores and Fry’s Marketplace

Raytheon Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 11,500
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $25.2 billion
Company’s focus: Missile manufacturing
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Phone: (520) 794-3000
Website: www.raytheon.com

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 10,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $102.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1799
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (602) 221-2900
Website: www.chase.com

Honeywell International Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,716
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 700 jobs
2010 revenue: $33.4 billion
Company’s focus: Aerospace manufacturing
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Morristown, N.J.
Phone: (602) 231-1000
Website: www.honeywell.com

Intel Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,700
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $43.6 billion
Company’s focus: Semiconductor manufacturing
Year founded: 1968
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Phone: (480) 554-8080
Website: www.intel.com

Target Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $65.4 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Phone: (612) 304-6073
Website: www.target.com

US Airways

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,926
Employment change since 2010: Added about 150 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.9 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1981
Headquarters: Tempe
Phone: (480) 693-0800
Website: www.usairways.com

Catholic Healthcare West

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,291
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1986
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (602) 406-3000
Website: www.chw.edu

Home Depot Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 8,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 350 jobs
2010 revenue: $66.2 billion
Company’s focus: Home improvement
Year founded: 1978
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (714) 940-3500
Website: www.homedepot.com

Walgreen Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,750
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $63.3 billion
Company’s focus: Retail drugstores
Year founded: 1901
Headquarters: Deerfield, Ill.
Phone: (847) 940-2500
Website: www.walgreens.com

Safeway Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,500
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $41.1 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1926
Headquarters: Pleasanton, Calif.
Phone: (480) 894-4100
Website: www.safeway.com

American Express Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,465
Employment change since 2010: Added about 200 jobs
2010 revenue: $30.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1850
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (623) 492-7474
Website: www.americanexpress.com

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 7,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 935 jobs
2010 revenue: $19 billion
Company’s focus: Mining
Year founded: 1834
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 366-7323
Website: www.fcx.com

Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,900
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 earnings: $330.4 million
Company’s focus: Electric utility
Year founded: 1985
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 250-1000
Website: www.pinnaclewest.com

Bashas’ Supermarkets

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,641
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 1,800 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1932
Headquarters: Chandler
Phone: (480) 895-9350
Website: www.bashas.com

Scottsdale Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,556
Employment change since 2010: Added about 55 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 882-4000
Website: www.shc.org

UA Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: About 6,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,050 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 694-7737
Website: www.u.arizona.edu

Circle K Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 590 jobs
2010 revenue: $16.4 billion
Company’s focus: Convenience stores
Year founded: 1951
Headquarters: Laval, QC, Canada
Phone: (602) 728-8000
Website: www.CircleK.com

General Dynamics

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,026
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,810 jobs
2010 revenue: $32.5 billion
Company’s focus: Defense, communications
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Falls Church, Va.
Phone: (480) 441-3033
Website: www.generaldynamics.com

Boeing Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,800
Employment change since 2010: Added about 100 jobs
2010 revenue: $64.3 billion
Company’s focus: Aircraft manufacturing
Year founded: 1916
Headquarters: Chicago
Phone: (480) 891-3000
Website: www.boeing.com

Carondelet Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 124 jobs
2010 revenue: About $601 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1880
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 872-3000
Website: www.carondelet.org

Mayo Foundation

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 138 jobs
2010 revenue: $7.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1864
Headquarters: Rochester, Minn.
Phone: (480) 301-8000
Website: www.mayo.edu

CVS Caremark Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 50 jobs
2010 revenue: $96.4 billion
Company’s focus: Pharmaceutical services
Year founded: 1993
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (615) 743-6600
Website: www.caremark.com

Salt River Project

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,346
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 392 jobs
2010 revenue: $2.7 billion
Company’s focus: Utility supplier
Year founded: 1903
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 236-5900
Website: www.srpnet.com

Costco Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,151
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.2 billion
Company’s focus: Membership discount stores
Year founded: 1976
Headquarters: Issaquah, Wash.
Phone: (602) 293-5007
Website: www.costco.com

Abrazo Health Care *

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,089
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $1.5 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (602) 674-1400
Website: www.abrazohealth.com
* A division of Vanguard Health Systems

Albertsons Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 450 jobs
2010 revenue: $5.9 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery and drug stores
Year founded: 1939
Headquarters: Boise, ID
Phone: (602) 382-5300
Website: www.albertsons.com

FedEx Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,918
Employment change since 2010: Added about 330 jobs
2010 revenue: $34.7 billion
Company’s focus: Delivery, copy centers
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Memphis, Tenn.
Phone: (866) 477-7529
Website: www.fedex.com

Southwest Airlines Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,857
Employment change since 2010: Added about 259 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.1 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Dallas
Phone: (602) 304-3983
Website: www.southwest.com

Marriott International

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 722 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.7 billion
Company’s focus: Resorts and hotels
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.
Phone: (301) 380-3000
Website:  www.marriott.com

Qwest Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,200
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 190 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.3 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1896
Headquarters: Denver
Phone: (800) 244-1111
Website: www.Qwest.com

United Parcel Service

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,170
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 48 jobs
2010 revenue: $49.5 billion
Company’s focus: Package delivery
Year founded: 1907
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (888) 967-5877
Website: www.ups.com

John C. Lincoln Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,166
Employment change since 2010: Added about 539 jobs
2010 revenue: $551 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters:  Phoenix
Phone: (602) 870-943-2381
Website: www.jcl.com

USAA

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,045
Employment change since 2010: Added about 74 jobs
2010 revenue: $17.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: San Antonio
Phone: (800) 531-8111
Website: www.usaa.com

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,001
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1974
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 435-4000
Website: www.schwab.com

Freescale Semiconductor

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.5 billion
Company’s focus: Microchip manufacturing
Year founded: 1953
Headquarters: Austin
Phone: (512) 895-2000
Website: www.freescale.com

IBM Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $95.8 billion
Company’s focus: Technology services
Year founded: 1924
Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y.
Phone: (800) 426-4968
Web site: www.us.ibm.com

Cox Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,997
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 67 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.1 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (623) 594-0505
Website: www.cox.com

TMC HealthCare

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,966
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 84 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1943
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 327-5461
Website: www.tmcaz.com

Verizon Wireless

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,901
Employment change since 2010: Added about 201 jobs
2010 revenue: $63.4 billion
Company’s focus: Wireless provider
Year founded: 1984
Headquarters: Basking Ridge, N.J.
phone: (480) 763-6300
Website: www.verizonwireless.com

Cigna HealthCare of AZ

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,865
Employment change since 2010: Added about 401 jobs
2010 revenue: $21.3 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1972
Headquarters: Philadelphia
Phone: (602) 942-4462
Website: www.cigna.com

Grand Canyon University

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,818
Employment change since 2010: Added about 537 jobs
2010 revenue: $385.8 million
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1949
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 639-7500
Website: www.gcu.edu

Starbucks Coffee Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,783
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,003 jobs
2010 revenue: $10.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Seattle
Phone: (602) 340-0455
Website: www.starbucks.com

Go Daddy Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,754
Employment change since 2010: Added about 441 jobs
2010 revenue: $741.2 million
Company’s focus: Internet services/technology
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 505-8800
Website: www.GoDaddy.com

These are the state’s 5 largest government employers, ranked by the number of employees.

State of Arizona: About 49,800 employees
City of Phoenix: About 15,100 employees
Maricopa County: 12,792 employees
Arizona State University: 11,185 employees
Mesa Public Schools: 8,376 employees

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

AZ Virtual Studios

The Importance of Website Videos With AZ Virtual Studios

We’ve been thinking about videos a lot lately here at the AZNow.Biz office. We know adding them to your website is great for SEO, but we had many questions, including: What videos work on websites? Which should we stay away from? How many do we need to put on the website? And how often should we post them?

And then we stumbled up on this:

Uploading a short video onto your website can drastically increase your page ranking! We can assist you with the creation of a powerful social media video that pulls in more clients.

Found on AZ Virtual Studios‘s website, we contacted them right away and shortly after sat down with John Koop, COO of AZ Virtual Studios.

AZ Virtual Studios is a production company in the Phoenix area — boasting the largest green screen in the state — that can produce any type of video, including 3D animation, from start to finish. We asked them the video-related questions that were on our minds.

Koop discussed the clients they’ve created videos for in the past, including Boeing and Freeport-McMoRan, as well as the importance of adding video content to your website(s). He told us what kind of videos work; he touched on the viral videos they’ve worked on and more.

[stextbox id=”grey”]For more information about AZ Virtual Studios, visit www.azvirtualstudios.com.[/stextbox]

 

branding - AZ Business Magazine April 2008

Branding: The Mark Of Excellence

Companies need to build trust to build a successful brand

Great brands are made, not born. Ask any marketing expert and they’ll tell you that it takes a lot of hard work to build the recognition and trust necessary to create an indelible brand for a product or company.

“Really and truly that is what a brand is — trust,” says Nancy Stephens, an associate professor of marketing at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “When I see your brand mark on your service or your product, that tells me, ‘Yes, I know that company, I’ve had great experiences there every time, I know I can trust it. If it’s different, I don’t know if I can trust it, but maybe I can give it a try and I’ll see if I can.’”

The Valley is home to major companies that have dealt with significant branding issues over the last decade. The first, and most high profile, came about as the result of America West Airlines’ merger with US Airways in 2005. Almost overnight, a brand that had been ubiquitous in Arizona disappeared.

“It was a difficult decision to give up the America West name for us, because it was just so well-known and, we’d like to think, well-loved within the Valley and also certain communities like Las Vegas where we have another hub,” says Michelle Mohr, a spokeswoman for US Airways.

Eventually, of course, America West took on the US Airways name because company executives felt it better captured the more national and global direction the airliner was heading toward. Not unexpectedly, the name change created confusion among customers.

“We had logistical issues,” Mohr says. “US Airways had their ticket terminals in Terminal 2 in (Sky Harbor International Airport) and America West had theirs in Terminal 4. For some flights, you had to go to Terminal 2, for some you needed to come to Terminal 4. And then we had two separate ticket counters because there were two separate reservation systems at the airline. That could be rather confusing and frustrating to a customer.”

In the end, Stephens says the test for any company re-branding itself is how customers will react — and how the company will respond.

“(Changing a brand) is not an ideal thing to do and it’s an expensive thing to do because you’re going to have to send a message to a very crowded market that says, ‘We were that, now we’re this,’ ” she says. “I would not hammer with the media money until you have the experience down right, because then you get killed. Because if you say, ‘We’re still the same great company and we really care about you, and it’s going to be efficient and our employees are going to be very nice to you,’ and it’s not that way, then all your media money works against you.”

Another longtime Arizona company that is in the process of re-branding itself is the former Phelps Dodge. Louisiana-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold acquired Phelps Dodge in 2006. Despite the radical name change, Stephens says Freeport-McMoRan has different branding challenges than those faced by a retail customer-fueled corporation. Freeport-McMoran is a business-to-business company, but it still has constituents in the form of suppliers, buyers, investors and even the communities in which the old Phelps Dodge made its mark.

Another branding challenge companies’ face is when they take steps to change the look or even the name of a product. Locally, the Shamrock Foods Company decided to change things up in 1994 by creating the Shamrock Farms line of products, revamping its packaging and adding an illustrated “spokescow” named Roxie. It was a daring move for a company that had been around since 1922 in an industry not known for generating much excitement.

“They have taken a really boring, old product and made it pretty exciting with this new packaging,” Stephens says.

Sandy Kelly, director of marketing for Shamrock Farms, admits shaking things up was exactly what the company had in mind.

“It was a real pivotal turning point for the business overall and for the brand,” Kelly says. “We really looked at what was going on and how other consumer packaged goods brands went to market, and what we realized was that the dairy industry has typically been more commodity driven and there isn’t a lot of branding going on nationally. So we wanted to be different.”

Kelly adds that consumer focus groups continue to say they love Roxie, and as a result, the bovine has become the cornerstone of the company’s marketing campaign. In 1998, in an effort to take on soft drinks, Shamrock made some noise again by introducing milk in single-serve bottles instead of the traditional carton. The single-serve bottles are available across the country, including at 21,000 Subway locations. Just recently, Subway launched a milk mustache television ad featuring the company’s spokesman, Jared, holding a single-serve bottle of Shamrock Farms milk.

Also, the company has launched a new line of organic milk and emphasizes that it does not use the synthetic hormone rBST on its dairy cows.

While the company continues to update and add to its brand, it hasn’t lost sight of what makes a brand successful.

“We use the saying: ‘Tradition meets innovation,’” Kelly says. “We have a lot of trust built up with our consumer, but at the same time, we’ve been able to stay relevant with the needs of today, which is a challenge, especially in the dairy category. We’ve been able to have that trust, we’ve been able to build that trust.”

For more information regarding these companies visit:

wpcarey.asu.edu
fcx.com
shamrockfarms.net
usairways.com